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FSU College of Medicine sponsors new dermatology fellowship

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CONTACT: Doug Carlson
(850) 645-1255 or (850) 694-3735

By Doug Carlson
Nov. 27, 2012

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida State University College of Medicine and Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee are partnering to offer a new procedural dermatology fellowship. The one-year fellowship will provide intensive training in all areas of procedural dermatology.

The program, designed to accept one fellow per year for training with Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee physicians, has received formal accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, effective July 1, 2013.

Graduate medical students eligible for the fellowship will have completed a primary dermatology residency program and board certification. The new fellowship will be one of 60 approved in the United States where dermatologists can acquire advanced training to deal with cases of complex skin cancer.

“I am pleased to be able to announce this new partnership with Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee. The ‘Sunshine State’ certainly is the right place to do this as we care for a population that was not warned about sun exposure decades ago,” said John P. Fogarty, dean of the FSU College of Medicine.

“Procedural dermatology emphasizes the best outcomes with the smallest necessary incisions for the cure of skin cancer lesions, and is in the best interest of the patient,” Fogarty said. “Working closely with primary care physicians can ensure better coverage for patients across the rural areas of Florida.”

The FSU College of Medicine places a great deal of emphasis on producing primary care physicians. The partnership with Dermatology Associates addresses patient-care issues that are in line with the medical school’s mission.

Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee operates numerous regional clinics, many of them in rural communities of Northwest Florida, including Marianna, Madison and Carrabelle.

“I think our goals and ideals and vision are very parallel to the medical school’s,” said Armand Cognetta Jr., M.D., founder and president of Dermatology Associates. “We seek to address advanced skin cancer and dermatology issues that affect patients from our referral and outreach area, which includes the panhandle, Southern Georgia and Southern Alabama. Those areas have the highest incidence of skin cancer in the nation.

“Most of our referrals are from primary care physicians. Many of our peripheral clinics are in a community where they otherwise don’t have a dermatologist. Our patients there are mainly elderly people who don’t drive and would have a hard time making it to Tallahassee for care.”

Such patients would be required to visit the Tallahassee offices when radiation treatment or surgery is required, but can receive regular appointments locally for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.

More than 3.5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. – more than newly diagnosed cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined.

The College of Medicine currently sponsors residency programs in Tallahassee (internal medicine at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital), Pensacola (obstetrics-gynecology and pediatrics at Sacred Heart Hospital) and Fort Myers (family medicine at Lee Memorial Hospital).

Graduating medical students in the United States are required to complete residency training in a chosen specialty prior to entering into the independent practice of medicine. Many physicians choose to continue their graduate medical education with a fellowship upon the completion of residency training. Fellowships provide additional and intensive subspecialty training.